Saturday, June 20, 2020

Book Review: Badger to the Bone by Shelly Laurenston

Badger to the Bone
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Series: The Honey Badger Chronicles Book 3
Publication: Kensington Books (March 31, 2020)

Description: She’s the woman he’s been hired to kidnap. But ZeZé Vargas has other ideas . . . like getting them both out of this nightmare alive. Just one problem. She’s crazy. Certifiably. Because while he’s plotting their escape, the petite Asian beauty is plotting something much more deadly . . .

Max “Kill It Again” MacKilligan has no idea what one of her own is doing with all these criminal humans until she realizes that Zé has no idea who or what he is. Or exactly how much power he truly has.

But Max is more than happy to bring this handsome jaguar shifter into her world and show him everything he’s been missing out on. A move that might be the dumbest thing she’s ever done once she realizes how far her enemies will go to wipe her out. Too bad for them Zé is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her alive . . . and honey badgers are just so damn hard to kill!

My Thoughts: This is the third story in the Honey Badger series and focuses on middle sister Max. It begins with Max letting herself be kidnapped so that she can get to the kidnapper. Unfortunately, she doesn't know that a force is gathering to "rescue" her. Zé is a former Marine and now a mercenary. Max takes one look at him and knows something about him that he doesn't know about himself.

When Max tells him that he is a shifter, he thinks she is crazy. And when she takes him with her in her escape and brings him home with her, Zé enters a world that he had never heard of. Of course, Max's world is likely not typical for shifters. Her older sister Charlie doesn't shift but is a crack marksman who terrifies everyone around her and stress bakes when she gets tense. Stress baking works just great for her because they are living in a part of New York City which is a haven for bear shifters who just love all the baking. Her younger sister Stevie is a genius who is frightened of bears and who shifts into a very large Siberian tiger/honey badger hybrid but more usually hides in the kitchen cupboards or hangs from the ceiling.

The sisters have a variety of problems. Because they are all hybrids or one kind or another, they aren't well accepted by their honey badger relatives who are after them all because their loser of a father has stolen money from them and want the girls to find him for them. Max is also under threat from a cousin who is jealous of her and wants her dead.

Zé is busy learning all about the new things he can do and meeting all the zany characters we have come to know in Laurenston books. I liked his growing relationship with Max - once Max gets used to having him around and stops forgetting he exists.

I liked the story and liked that a number of characters from earlier books had roles in this one. Max is an intriguing character who embodies all the best honey badger traits. She's tough and fearless and willing to tackle being much bigger than she is. I liked her friendship with her basketball girlfriends. I also really liked her relationship with her sisters.

Laurenston writes urban fantasy that isn't short on the humor and still has some surprising sexy bits. This is another great example of her writing.

Favorite Quote:
"Livy asked about you."

"Livy who?"

"Your cousin."

Max frowned, confused.

"The one you've threatened with death many times?"

"Still unclear."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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